About the author
Louise Mahrra Head of Marketing for CAE
Having worked in a variety of industries through her career, from a world-leading technology brand, to Europe’s number 1 protein ingredients manufacturer, Louise is always focused on achieving high impact and value through thought leadership. Louise describes herself as first and foremost a storyteller who connects with her audience and creates meaningful content that excites, inspires and educates.
Join me on a journey through time, where history and innovation converge in a basement beneath London's bustling streets. Picture a once-hidden space, known as the Cabinet War Rooms, where from 27 August 1939, to 16 August 1945, government luminaries, military strategists, and the unyielding Prime Minister Winston Churchill crafted Britain's path through World War II.
Fast forward 75 years, and this historical haven transformed into a battleground of a different kind - a battleground of code and digital might. No longer the domain of nations at war, this time it was a united front against a singular adversary: the cyber attacker.
Imagine this iconic venue, the War Rooms, as the backdrop for an unparalleled experience. Here, technology leaders converged, thoughts intertwining as they confronted a shared adversary - the relentless cyber attacker.
The curtain rose on our inaugural immersive event, a fusion of minds from CAE and Cisco. Amidst the echoes of history, a mutual realisation emerged: the realm of cybersecurity had grown convoluted, leaving users and IT professionals grappling with complexity. A new perspective was essential, a reimagining of strategy to ensure secure digital transformation.
Within this unique experience, a fictional scenario unfolded - yet the spectre of real-world cyber threats loomed. In the landscape we inhabit, corporate networks and IT infrastructures stand as targets, vulnerable to unseen foes. And so, "Beat the Hacker" materialised, a multifaceted encounter designed to enlighten and empower.
One facet revealed an interactive game, a blend of challenge and race against time. Participants engaged their intellect, deciphering intricate puzzles mirroring the complexities of genuine cybersecurity challenges. Across the room, experts from CAE and Cisco took the stage, sharing their insights and wisdom in interactive presentations. Their mission? To arm us with cutting-edge tools and strategies for the ongoing battle of digital security.
The urgency of our mission was underscored by recent events, including a notorious attack by the Clop hacker group. Aligned with the National Cyber Strategy, the 2023 Cyber Security Breaches Survey portrayed a sobering reality. In the UK, cybercrime surged, with over 2.3 million incidents reported across businesses. Breaches and attacks loomed over business leaders, charities, and organisations of all sizes.
This nightmare scenario, capable of wreaking havoc on finances and reputation, haunted our thoughts. In partnership with Capture the Talent, cybersecurity training experts, we devised a plan - a simulated journey through a ransomware attack. Like detectives unravelling a mystery, we hacked into locked diaries, mobile phones, and enigmatic briefcases. With each discovery, we inched closer to recovering stolen files, absorbing invaluable lessons in cybersecurity.
As diverse skills united in purpose, we echoed the spirit of those who had converged in the War Rooms decades earlier. Cryptic codes and concealed passwords underscored critical practices - password security, responsible data storage, and the dangers of unchecked emails. The message was clear: simplicity holds the key to effective cybersecurity planning and software.
Throughout the four sessions, resonant calls to action resounded. We delved into the realm of risk-based authentication, guided by Anthony Owen, CAE's Senior Security Solutions Specialist. This approach harmonises user productivity with unwavering security, employing ingenious techniques like risk signal analysis and context-based authentication frequency.
Likewise, Gisli Helgason, Chief Technologist for Network & Security, illuminated a cybersecurity landscape cluttered with excess - an array of security tools competing for attention, their integration into organisations a labyrinthine challenge. Rob Lay, UK&I Security Systems Engineer Leader at Cisco, added his voice, highlighting the overwhelming array of cybersecurity providers and software. The era of multi-cloud environments had heightened the burden on customers.
Herein lay a revelation that could alleviate the strain on stressed IT professionals. Astonishingly, 21% of those in the field encountered daily stress as routine. Yet, hope emanated from our partnership - a direct line to Cisco's XDR technology stack and advanced threat detection capabilities. As CAE's XDR Solution Specialisation partner, we stood equipped to fend off even the most sophisticated digital threats.
As we bid farewell to the transformed War Rooms, now a cybersecurity battleground, a poignant truth lingered: the power to safeguard resides in the hands of business leaders. Boundaries dissolve when cybersecurity becomes a shared ethos, a creed resonating throughout every facet of an organisation.
In this eternal dance between defender and attacker, measures, practices, and convictions stand to bolster the guardians of digital realms. The shadow of a cyber attack may never fully dissipate, yet we press onward, armed with the wisdom and unity forged in the War Rooms—a beacon of optimism for brighter days ahead in the battle to protect our digital frontiers.
Embark on a journey to fortify your digital realm. Join our SAFE workshop led by security expert Anthony Owen. Explore Zero-Trust pillars - Endpoints, SSE, SDWAN, Network, and Workload Security. Unearth threats and seize opportunities. Elevate your security stance, optimise resources, and redefine IT security. Embrace "More Good Days" in a resilient, secure environment.